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OPINION

KingstOOn: A key to shared prosperity and sustainable growth for Jamaica

Sophie Sirtaine

Jamaica Observer

September 9, 2013

Media Contacts
In Kingston

Gerrard McDaniel

It was a real pleasure and an honour to be here in Jamaica for the first time, and in particular to have been invited to represent the world Bank at this special stock taking event after KingstOOn – and to taste first time one of the fruits of that partnership – today’s official launch of a new animation course at CARIMAC, right here on the campus of the University of the West Indies.

I must say that I have already been blown away by the warmth of the Jamaican people – it’s been absolutely fantastic.  Above all it has represented a real opportunity to continue our dialogue with the Jamaican government about how we are going to take our partnership going forward.

One of the pillars that initiatives and reforms that will help boost shared prosperity. In other words how to put Jamaica on a forward path to finding sources of job creation, of competitiveness and of growth, ultimately for the country.

In this context I have been asked by partners - Where do I see Kingstoon in all of this?

I think what KingstOOn has done and will continue to do is leverage one of the key assets of that you have in Jamaica, which is the pool of very skilled, talented and creative youth with entrepreneurial skills that can allow them to take advantage of the opportunities in the global market to to build something tangible for their own future but themselves, their families and for the country.

Open Quotes

Giving opportunities to skilled talented youth independent of background and community of origin is an important attribute of what KingstOOn has achieved that can ensure continuity. Close Quotes

Sophie Sirtaine
World Bank Country Director for the Caribbean

Today I want to share five points that I believe are critical to the long term success of what has been achieved so far.

First is inclusiveness. Building shared prosperity by creating opportunities to all is not just central to the work of the World Bank, but also critical to your country. Giving opportunities to skilled talented youth independent of background and community of origin is an important attribute of what KingstOOn has achieved that can ensure continuity. I hope the World Bank can find ways to contribute in a tangible way to maintaining this.

I think the 2nd thing is the partnership that has been built. By bringing together the private sector, the public sector the academics and the talents, this has really provided you with the platform to build a future together – you won’t need us very soon. You have realized a network which was already there – the partners were just not talking to each other in an efficient way.

Talking with the partners earlier, the word that kept coming to my mind was passion. They showed passion what they were doing and passion for working together to make this a success.

The fourth point is sustainability. We are not doing this because we want to have a certain number of talents trained. We are doing this because we want to make this a source of jobs and a source economic competitiveness leading to growth and shared prosperity in the long term. Because of the vibrant partnership you are putting all elements of the value chain in motion – you have skill sets being developed, the private sector providing funding, jobs and opportunities to the nascent industry. The international donors are supporting the effort with their convening power to broker conversations with leading international players.

I came away from the discussions with a list of things to be worked on, and what was encouraging was that the partners had identified these critical success factors, so we can collaborate on making it all happen. The World Bank certainly wants to ensure that we do all we can to support the birth and development of this industry,

Finally there are the ‘spill-overs’. It is beautiful that you are not only developing KingstOOn as a model of excellence in partnership, but that others are now looking to you for leadership. It is very encouraging to note that a team of young St. Lucians participated fully in the June staging of KingstOOn and are diffusing the shared innovation in their home country and boost their own animation industry.

The World Bank will continue to support Jamaica’s efforts for this thrust to become one of the long term pillars of sustainability and growth for Jamaica. Hopefully this is the start of a great long term partnership for us.

Sophie Sirtaine is the World Bank’s Country Director for the Caribbean. She replaced Françoise Clottes on July 1. Her first official trip in that capacity was a 24-hour visit to Kingston, Jamaica (August 28-29, 2013) The preceding text represents edited highlights of Ms. Sirtaine’s contribution to a press briefing at the end of this visit.

NOTE: KingstOOn was Jamaica’s first animation conference and festival held at the Mona Campus of the UWI in June this year. A joint project of the Jamaican Government, the Government of Canada, the World Bank, it brought together international and Jamaican industry leaders, universities, Jamaican businesses Government officials, animation professionals and amateurs, students, and young dreamers to animate Jamaican creativity and convert Kingston into a global hub of the animation industry.